Only a few years ago, as newlyweds in my eyes, our world was turned upside down. My husband and I lost everything. However, it was also the year I learned the most about what is truly important in life. That year, we lost everything but it’s my favorite year of my marriage because it showed me what love can conquer!

A few years ago, my husband and I suffered a heartbreaking, numbing loss. We had lost our first child to a miscarriage. The child we had prayed for, the child that we had dreamed about since saying our wedding vows, the child we had wished for was now gone. It was a devastating loss for us. I clung to my husband’s warm, rough hand that day in the hospital waiting area, watching new dad after new dad walking-in with empty car seats. They were bringing a baby home today and we were going home empty.

A few months later we found out I was pregnant again. My husband had also found out that he had received a promotion. However, it required him to leave his now pregnant wife for four months and live out of state. We overcame this, we stepped over this speed bump like the one before.

Weeks later, I sat all night in the local ER hugging my pregnant belly praying that God would not take this baby too. I cried, alone and scared. My husband hundreds of miles away. Scared, alone, numb, we overcame it. My sweet daughter fought and we made it out safe.

Later that year, still pregnant with our sweet baby, my husband was done with his training only to find out that he would not be returning to Minnesota for the new job but had to relocate out of state, forcing me to leave my job to move with him. My dream job, the job I had worked my tail off for years to get. A job where I loved getting up every morning and going to work. A job where I was helping others and I felt like I was helping my community. It had come to be my identity, who I was as a person. It was gone.

We prepared to move away from our support, our family, our friends with a baby on the way to a strange new city, state, and unknown future. We leaned on each other. My husband kept repeating to his scared pregnant wife “God will get us through this, we have been through worse.” And he was right!

Moving day had arrived. The day before we had endured a massive snow storm leaving the city to dig out from the over ten inches of snow. We arrived at our storage unit that morning, where we had placed all of our things when he had moved out of state, only to find devastation. The roof had collapsed under the weight of the snow and the now warm sunshine was melting that heaping pile of snow directly on to all of our earthy possessions.

As the movers dug out every wedding gift, every family heirloom, every treasured item we owned- completely unsalvageable. I laughed. I laughed at what the year had brought us, I laughed at the rollercoaster ride that God had placed us on, I laughed at the empty moving truck.

Here was a point where the moving men, complete strangers, started to worry about the laughing pregnant lady. I hugged my growing pregnant belly and reassured them over and over again that I was ok. I had not mentally lost it. “It’s just stuff,” I kept reminding them.

It was the year we lost everything. It was the year we started new. We got a fresh start with the birth of my daughter. So much had been taken from us over that year. Everything I had thought defined who we were, only to find that it did not matter. God had given me the most important thing. This man, my rock, to carry me through the dark parts of life.

We had lost so much over the year, but I truly believe that it was the year that gave us so much more!

Annie Henriksen

My name is Annie. I am the mother of two free-spirted kids, a freelance writer, and the face behind Laughter and Kisses is all about filling your home with love and laughing instead of crying over those hard-parenting days! I spend most of my day chasing after these two blurry lightning bolts, I call my children. If I didn’t have my hands full enough with sippy cups and sticky mystery items, I am also on the board of directors of two non-profits. I am a freelance writer for multiple parenting websites; including Her View From Home and That’s Inappropriate. I have been honored to be featured on such sites as Romper, Pop Sugar, and Mummy Pages-UK. I’m not going to lie, I consume a massive amount of coffee each day just to keep up with life. Even though my days are jammed packed, I would not have it any other way! At the end of the day, after all of the struggles, I kiss my kid’s good night and it’s all worth it!